The Popularity of 12-Step Programs in Alcohol Rehab Centers

In your search for the right treatment for your alcoholism, you may have seen frequent references to the 12-Step program or the 12-Step philosophy. In fact, they come up so often that you may wonder if every alcohol rehab center uses the 12-Step program. The 12-Step program is based on the original founding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps were developed decades ago and are still regarded as one of the best ways to help alcoholics recover.

Do All Alcohol Rehab Centers Use the 12 Steps?

Most alcohol rehab centers, drug addiction rehabs, and sober living houses incorporate the 12-Step program as part of their treatment. Even if other treatments are used in conjunction with the 12 Steps, people in recovery are expected to use 12-Step meetings to help them stay sober. In some cases, people are required by a court ruling to attend 12-Step meetings. This is usually ordered in addition to other penalties or to probation agreements. Some rehab centers and treatment centers modify the 12 Steps to better suit modern clients’ needs, but the fundamental rules of the original 12 Steps remain the same.

Popularity of the 12-Step Program

Why is the 12-Step philosophy so prevalent in alcohol rehab centers? There are several reasons.

  • The 12 Steps have a proven record of helping addicts of all kind get and stay sober.
  • Meetings provide peer support among other people who are at various stages of recovery. This has proven to be a key factor in whether someone recovers successfully from alcoholism or addiction.
  • Addiction experts say that most alcoholics and addicts need to learn to live with schedules, structure, and accountability. Meeting attendance provides that structure.
  • Meetings are open to everyone and are free of charge. Members are asked to make small donations but these are not required. Some meetings suggest that the alcoholic donate the price of one drink.
  • Meetings are held at all times of the day and night in several locations. This makes it easy for an alcoholic to find support whenever he or she needs it.
  • As the name implies, meetings are anonymous and members do not share last names.

Why the 12 Steps Work

The founding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous include several keys to successful recovery. The first is the principle of “fellowship,” which refers to addicts helping other addicts. Alcoholics help each other cope with the struggle to stay sober. Members who have been sober for a long time can “sponsor” members who are new to the program. Another key is the emphasis on accountability for your actions. One of the steps requires making a “fearless moral inventory” of the wrongs that you committed while you were abusing alcohol. You’ll also be asked to make amends to the people you hurt whenever possible. This accountability is another important part of a successful recovery.

Objections to the 12-Step Program

There are some objections to 12-Step programs. The most common one is to the spiritual component. Members are asked to invoke a “higher power” to help them in recovery. Critics of the 12 Steps say that this won’t work for atheists or those who want a more rational, scientific approach. This is a reasonable argument, but experience proves that the 12 Steps will work for everyone. Most treatment centers have changed references to God or a higher power to any spiritual belief. Many people who aren’t religious are still highly spiritual and treatment centers recognize that.

Treatments Provided in Addition to the 12 Steps

Many treatment centers make the 12 Steps the main form of therapy while offering additional forms of therapy to give the alcoholic more support. An alcohol rehab center might offer the 12 Steps in addition to:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Family therapy.
  • Art and recreation therapies.
  • Holistic therapy.

“It Works if You Work It”

Will a 12-Step program help you recover from alcoholism? One of the mottos of people in 12-Step programs is, “It works if you work it.” A 12-Step program will guide you to cope without alcohol, look inside yourself and learn to support other alcoholics. In return, you will get all the roadmaps and support that you need.

Are You Looking for an Alcohol Rehab Center?

If you’re ready to change your life for the better and break free from alcoholism, give our counselors a call. They are available anytime at 770-299-1677.

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